Speech & Communication

  • What is school-based SPEECH-LANGUAGE therapy? 

    Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) work with educational evaluation teams to provide comprehensive language and speech assessments for students. Services to students with speech-language disorders may be provided in small group sessions, in classrooms when teaming with teachers, or in a consultative model with teachers and parents. SLPs integrate students' speech-language goals with academic outcomes and functional performance.

    What type of SPEECH-LANGUAGE disorders affect school-aged children?

    • Speech sound disorders - (articulation/phonology, difficulty producing certain sounds)
    • Language disorders - (receptive/expressive/pragmatic, difficulty understanding what they hear as well as expressing themselves with words, social language and interactions)
    • Cognitive-communication disorders - (difficulty with thinking skills including perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect and imagination)
    • Stuttering (fluency) disorders - (interruption of the flow of speech that may include hesitations, repetitions, prolongations of sounds or words)
    • Voice disorders - (quality of voice that may include hoarseness, nasality, volume (too loud or soft)

    How is a student eligible for SPEECH-LANGUAGE services?

    Determination of eligibility for services in schools is a multi-step process that includes screening, evaluation, observations from teachers, information from parents, and review of the student's work samples. The school-based individualized education program (IEP) team considers all of this information to answer these questions:

    1. Is there a disability?
    2. If so, is there an adverse effect on educational performance resulting from the disability?
    3. If so, are specially designed instruction and/or related services and supports needed to help the student make progress in the general education curriculum?

    Ways a SPEECH-LANGUAGE disorder may affect school performance? 

    Children with communication disorders frequently do not perform at grade level.  They may struggle with reading, have difficulty understanding and expressing language, misunderstand social cues, avoid attending school, show poor judgment, and have difficulty with tests. Difficulty in learning to listen, speak, read, or write can result from problems in language development.  Problems can occur in the production, comprehension, and awareness of language sounds, syllables, words, sentences, and conversation.  Individuals with reading and writing problems also may have trouble using language to communicate, think, and learn.